Boxing is an ancient sport which was introduced to the ancient Olympic Games in the 7th century BC by the Greeks when players used soft leather thongs to bind boxers’ hands and forearms for protection. The earliest evidence for the existence of boxing dates back to Egypt around 3000 BC. Later, in Rome, leather thongs were replaced by the cestus – a glove studded with metal which led to the death of one or other contestant. After the fall of the Roman Empire, boxing came to an abrupt end and only being resurfaced in 17th century in England. The England began organising amateur boxing officially in 1880. At that time, only five weight classes were contested namely Bantam, in which contestants not exceeding 54 kilos; Feather, contestants not exceeding 57 kilos; Light, contestants not exceeding 63.5 kilos; Middle, contestants not exceeding 73 kilos; and Heavy, contestants of any weight.
In 1904, boxing made its Olympic debut in St Louis, and the USA, the only country entered, took all the medals. Since then, the Americans continued to dominate the sport, winning 109 medals (including 48 gold) out of the 842, the second place belong to the Cubans and Russians.
Since being included in the Olympic games, boxing has been included at each edition of the Games, except in 1912 in Stockholm, due to Swedish law, which banned the practice.
The rules of boxing have evolved during the 1980s with protective helmet obligatory in 1984 in Los Angeles; set-up of an electronic scoring system to strengthen the objectivity of refereeing in 1992 in Barcelona and standardised point scoring in 2007.
Despite the fact that the sport is rather violence, women’s boxing made its debut at the 2012 London Games in London, in which 11 men’s events was replaced by 10 men’s and 3 women’s events.